Telangana cotton farmers fall prey to private traders, sell produce for a loss

WARANGAL: Already hit by the untimely rains in October, cotton farmers of erstwhile Warangal district and Khammam thronged the Enumamula agriculture market and sold their produce for a loss to private traders on Tuesday.

According to data accessed by The New Indian Express, 15,525 quintals of cotton was brought to the market on the day. But as the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has not started the procurement centres at the market yet, the farmers ended up selling their produce to private traders for a loss, much below the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 4,500. 

Farmers alleged that traders have been fixing prices themselves as the government has failed to provide MSP. Despite the farmers getting a bumper produce leading to a fall in prices, a quintal fetches them hardly Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,600 as against Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 last year.

Speaking to Express, Enumamula Market Committee chairman Ch Sadananam said the CCI has not yet opened the procurement centres to buy the produce from them, fix prices and check the moisture content. Also, the rains have damaged the crop. 

"When the CCI authorities had inspected the market yard, we asked them to start the purchase centre. In the meantime, we have given strict instructions to private traders to follow the market yard rules regarding the purchases," Sadananam said.

M Ravi Kumar, a farmer from Narsampet, has been grappling with severe crop loss caused by the recent downpour. He has urged the State government to announce compensation for farmers like him.

"Private traders are only bothered about their business and are not following the market guidelines. They had offered me only Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,000 for a quintal. The reason they had given me was poor quality of cotton and high moisture. We had cultivated cotton based on the government’s instructions and now it is turning a blind eye to our problems. It should offer the MSP," Ravi Kumar said.

Source: The Indian Express, India
Wednesday, 21 October 2020

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